The N-VA on Thursday demanded that suspects of police violence appear in court within seven days.
It is one of the eight points of an action plan presented by the nationalist party (in opposition to the federal government) in response to the deadly stabbing attack which claimed the life of November 10 in Schaerbeek to a 29-year-old policeman, Thomas Monjoie.
Yassine M., a suspect on the “Homegrown Terrorist Fighters” list
The suspect, Yassine M., a former detainee on file for his dangerousness, had threatened the police with violence in the morning, after which he was taken by police to the psychiatric unit of the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Woluwe-Saint- Lambert, whom he had then left.
The man has appeared since 2017 on the list of “Homegrown Terrorist Fighters, terrorist fighters of local origin, of the Coordination Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM). Various information presented him as a radicalized person, proselytizing and likely to take action for a religious reason. In February 2020, his status was upgraded to “potentially violent extremist”.
N-VA MPs Yngvild Ingels and Sophie De Wit acknowledged on Thursday that steps had already been taken in recent years to better protect police officers, but called them insufficient. “Miraculous solutions do not exist, but we must do everything possible so that our police officers can carry out their work in the best conditions,” they said in a press release.
N-VA Action Plan
Concretely, the N-VA has drawn up an eight-point action plan. The nationalist party proposes to set up an accelerated procedure by which the suspects of violence against the police would be presented in court within seven days, with an immediate verdict. MP Kristien Van Vaerenbergh has already tabled a bill to this effect in the House.
The N-VA also wants to improve the recording of such acts of violence and proposes that the public prosecutor’s office can guarantee the anonymity of agents longer than at present. The party also wants to expand the use of portable cameras (“bodycams”) by the police.
The Flemish nationalists are finally calling for an additional budget to provide free legal assistance to all police officers who are victims of violence, even if they have not suffered any physical damage during the incident and are only asking for moral compensation.
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